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MIDDLE PASSAGE #2 Memories of a slave from the MotherLand to the MIDDLE PASSAGE VOYAGE….FICTION BY RIVEROFLIFELISAJOY SHORT STORY

 

 

http://schooloffish.wordpress.com/2007/10/12/god-is-okay-with-slavery/ This picture was taken from  archives on slavery.  It was placed in this fiction story written by me….I thought a real picture would help the reader to understand the harsh treatment of slaves.  It was a course that I took that enlightened me to the terrible experience of the MIDDLE PASSAGE and what it did to the many tribes that had been taken hostage by the  SLAVE TRADERS. 

 That is why I had written an earlier post regarding PAT BUCHANNON’S shallow view on the slavery of African Americans and how he, (((PAT BUCHANNON))) thought that black people should be thanking “God” for slavery.  

 I will be writing  short stories based loosely on the readings and  course work I took for my education.  I am not an expert….but being African American and having lived in circumstances as an Afrcian American for 48 years may give me a little insight to attempt to “channel” some of my ancestors and their struggles through fictional dipictions of  slave experiences.

  I hope I do them justice.

At the bottom of this you will find a discussion I raised and copied regarding the emancipation of the  slaves due to Lincoln.

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********************  Middle Passage and the Loss of my Village and Family—-Slave Memories…#2

OUR VILLAGE WAS CLOSE BY THE SEA.  MY MOTHER HAD A GARDEN AND MY FATHER  HUNTED FOR OUR FOOD WITH THE OTHER MEN FROM THE TRIBE.  There was a rival tribe that had stolen some of my mothers, and other women’s vegetables from their gardens. 

 Everyone was angry and running around.  I was 8 years old.  My brothers were 12 years old, and 15 years old  and a  7months old.  My parents talked and then my father and my older brothers  ran with their  spears to meet the other tribes men.  They had put on body paint,  and war feathers. 

The tribesmen gather in the center of the village and began to chant and sing and jump up and down until the air was filled with their voices and the dust rose up making swirling clouds around our heads.

  My father and the tribesmen ran from the village in anger and excitement chanting with raised spears.  My mother took me back to our hut and began to prepare the midday meal.  The war was on!  I did not know if my father would be back.

  My mother cooked yam and potatoe and meat.  She seasoned it and then we ate.  Suddenly there was a noise at the far end of the village.  Women were screaming and running in our direction.  My mother dropped her bowl and looked to the center of the village. 

She screamed and then grabbed me and my baby brother.  She pushed us into the jungle and ran, and pushed me and ran some more.  When we came to the beach we saw big things on the water floating. 

 I had never seen anything like that before.  It was brown on the bottom, and had cloth on the top floating in the wind.  Suddenly my mother screamed and I looked up as saw my mother being dragged away from me with my baby brother in her arms. She looked back at me and screamed again and I was picked up and carried away too.

  I began to scream and cry for my mother, and my father.  I remember being in a small boat that carried us to the big brown boat with the floating clothes.  My mother was forced to climb the boat, and I was forced too.  When we got on the boat we were chained together and then put down in a black place that smelled so strong that I gagged and threw up. 

 I was hit from behind and forced to lay down next to my mother and baby brother.  My baby brother had not stopped crying since this all began.  My mother held my hand and I was sobbing. 

 I heard a language I did not understand.  I could only see legs, and arms of people I had never seen before.  They looked angry and they shouted at us.  There were many people from our village, some old men, and some sickly men who had not gone to war with our rival tribe.

  Young boys, girls, and women from our village were on this big boat too.  Everyone was throwing up from the smell.  Everyone was crying and scared of this new tribe that was attacking us in our tribesmen absence. 

What would happen to us?  Where were we being taken?  Why did these tribesmen look so different from us?  Why did they seem so angry at us?  What law of their tribe had we broken?

  Some of my tribesmen and women I heard talking amongst themselves thought that these were evil spirits from our rival tribe that had been sent by their witch doctor to destroy us! 

 What a powerful witch doctor they had…some of the people said.  What will my father think when he comes back from war?  Our tribe was the stronger of the two….we had more people, and our tribe was tall and the rival tribe were not so tall. 

 So our wars with them were usually quick.  Our men would fight and battle for several hours, and injure some of their tribe and then fall back to our village until the next conflict…showing our dominence over them.  But now, who would cook for my father and brothers? 

 Who would cook for all of the tribesmen.  How could they fight this new foe who had taken the whole village captive?  I began to feel sick, and I had to relieve myself.  I was laying down on my back and my legs were aching.  My baby brother was wimpering now. 

 My mother was chanting and squeezing my hand.  The angry strange looking tribesman  started  pulling some of the villagers out of the areas that we were chained to. 

 My mother and baby brother were taken away from me and all I remember was my mother wailing and screaming my name, my baby brother’s name and then her voice cut short and then other villages started to wail and scream to our ancestors.

  Their was alot of noise coming from above my head in the blackness.  I could see specks of light….something dripped on my head and it smell bad.  I threw up again, and then I passed out. 

I woke up again seeing that my mother was gone and so was my baby brother I began to cry.  One of my captors hit the bottoms of my feet with something very hard.  I cried more and then they left me alone.  I had relieved myself on myself.  I smelled it and I threw up again. 

 Next to me was an old man from the village.  He had been quiet for a long time.  I called out to him but he did not answer.  He never answered me.  I knew he was dead.  I screamed for the ancestors to take me away from this black hole and torment. 

 I prayed as my mother had taught me to.  I asked forgiveness of my ancestors for any thing I might have done.  I felt a tug and a yank on my feet and I felt myself pulled to my feet.  The old man came out dead on the floor next to me. 

 My captors separated the chains and then reconnected them to a living  villager man.  They took the old man away and moved me down to the next villager.  They took us out into the open air.

  Something stuck into my foot as I walked.  I stumbled and one of my captors hit me in the back again.  I began to wimper.  I know what wailing would cause to happen so I wimpered to myself and prayed to my ancestors again.

  The sky was clear, blue and few clouds were around.  The big boat rocked from side to side.  I began to feel sick again.  They thrust a liquid in my mouth.  I began to throw  up again. I was hit again from behind and they yelled something at me.  I heard screaming and I saw a woman from the village being chased.

  She ran around the boat while the captors chased her.  They were laughing this time.  She finally was caught and they did  something in a crowd and encircled around her while she screamed out the name of her husband and ancestors. 

 I saw blood come  crawling from beneath the crowd of captors and the woman stoped yelling. 

 There was silence again.  Suddenly one of the captors tossed her dead body over the side of the boat.  Many of us who saw that gasped, and moaned and sung the song of sorrow for the dead. We called as one voice for the ancestors to come to carry her away to our ancestral home.

  We were taken back down to the hole and left until the captors took us out again.  Some men and women and children were beat, until they bled.  Some men were beat until you could see pieces of meat from their backs fly off in different directions.  Then we were taken back into the black hole. 

 Day turned into night and night into day.  One day the big boat stopped and we who had survived were taken from the boat and washed brutally, and greased. 

 New chains were placed on our hands and feet and we were taken into what appeared to be a village with more of the tribes people who looked and dressed differently then us. 

 They looked angry and laughed at the same time.  I passed out.  I awoke on a wood floor.  There was a large animal that looked like something I had never seen before. 

 One of the captors had been sitting and looking away from me.  I looked around and saw some of the villager men who had survived the trip.  I sat up and then I saw a big white hut.  There were other tribes in this new land.  I did not recognize any of them. 

 When the big animal stopped we were all yanked off the wood floor and put on the ground.  I was very weak, and sick.  I began to throw up again.  I was hit again.

  I was yanked to follow my fellow villagers to  a small white hut.  When we arrived more of the strange looking tribesman and some tribes men from my mother land were there.  We were handed bowls of food and we ate.

  This was strange food but it tasted better than the food on the large boat.  I began to feel better.  I looked around and saw animals I had never seen before.  Some were funny….a white bird with a red wobbly skin on its head and neck.  It made funny noises. 

I began to miss my mother and I cried again.  I was hit again. I began to wimper to myself and pray to my ancestors.  I wondered what ever happened to my father and the other tribesman and if they knew what had happened to us. 

I was given a hut to share with other tribesman, and clothes.  I was given work to do in a very, very large garden.  I never forgot my mother, baby brother, and my father and kinsman. 

 I worked until I died from a severe beating. 

~~~~~riveroflifelisajoy

**********************************************************************************************

This is a document regarding the emancipation of the slaves……

COPYWRITE 2003-2008  SON OF THE SOUTH
WWW.SONOFTHESOUTH.NET

paul@sonofthesouth.

 

 

Abraham Lincoln and

 

Abraham Lincoln and Emancipated Slaves, April 1865

Richmond Virginia, the Confederate Capitol fell on April 3, 1865. The following day, April 4, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln went to the fallen city. Throngs of slaves were in the streets, celebrating their first day of freedom, and welcoming Lincoln. Thomas Nast captured this historic event with his drawing presented at your right.  This is perhaps the best portrait of Mr. Lincoln ever produced.  It shows that while Lincoln was to tragically die 10 days later, he did, if only briefly, get to see the fruit of his leadership and resolve.  He was able to see the grateful tears of the emancipated, and hear their cheers of appreciation. There is a fascinating story about this day, so please click on the image for the full story of the day that Abraham Lincoln walked the streets of the fallen Rebel Capitol.

braham Lincoln Entering Richmond Virginia

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MIDDLE PASSAGE AND THE MEMORIES OF A SLAVE~~~Fiction by Riveroflifelisajoy

Ma name is John Smith.

Ah, been in dis here plantation since a

was a young chile..sold offin’

my Mama befo’ I was ten.

But Ah memba’ my Mama face

and my Mama hands.

My Mama face wuz brown

tired and sad. 

She wore a ole’ faded

red head rag.   She would

take me wid her to clean

the chicken coups

and feed the cows.

Ah would play and chase

the chickens!

One day the master

of  da house came and

picked me out from

ma friends and told

my Mama it wuz time

fo’ me to go!

I wuz too big to

be playin’ anymo’.

The master sent ole’

Joe, the helper to carry me off

to the market to be

sold. 

Ah cried and kicked and

screamed fo’ my

Mama. 

She just stood a lookin’

after me and did not

move to help me!

Ah watched my Mama

grow tiny as the horse,

cart  pulled me and the otha’ slaves who

was packed into it away from

my birth plantation to a

new and dangerous beginin’!

Ah wuz sold to the Williams.

Mr. Williams was kind, but

his son was the mean one.

He liked to beat slaves fo’ nuthin’

and then leave um to die if they

put up a fuss.

He would jus’ buy mo’

slaves the next day.

The Williams plantation

was a cotton plantation.

Hard work, pickin’ cotton,

cuts up yo’ hands and stuff.

Ah grew big and strong.

I could carry three times my weight

on a good day.

So young master Williams took

good care uh me. 

But ah hated ta see

my friends suffer so.

One day we heard of the

UNDERGROUND RAILROAD.

Ah  decided to run awa’.

No, Ah told ye, that Master Williams

wuz good to me.  Ah just wanted to see

my Mama so bad.

Ah did not care about good treatment.

Ah wanted to be free! 

Ah made a chance run fo’ it

one night.

Ah wuz tryin’ ta meet

up wid the UnderGround RailRoad

in the forest.

Ah, made a mistake.

I told ole’ Buck, who curries the

Master’s horses.  He warn’ me

not to try it!  Ah, told him to minds his business!

I could out run any dog, or horse….cause the master

fed me the best food cause ah carried the heavy loads and pulled

plows when the horses went lame.

Sos’  I think that is why I wuz caught so fast.

When they draggs’ me back to the

plantation, there was ole’ Buck a lookin’

at me.  From a distance he kept gettin’

bigger, and bigger.  He stood right at

the wipping post and look at me….just starin’

and shaking his ole’ grey head.

When they tied me up I could see dried

blood where other slaves had been beat.

It wuz a cloudy day.

It wuz a hot night.

They found me in the day and wup me

deep into da night.

Young Master Williams took a break

from his workin’ my back, and

then told his workers to continue on

till the next mornin’ just wupin’

my back.

I stop yellin’ and then I don’t

member nothin after dat.

All I know is that I found ma’self

sittin up here wit Jesus, and da

Angels.

Oh, and I found Mama too!

Except  she got a big smile on

huh face, and she wearing a white

dress and she don’t look tired no’ mo’.

Fini~~~

Fiction Depiction of Slavery

by Riveroflifelisajoy

Rev. Wright! PLEASE STOP TALKING!****(((((who is Rev. Wright???)))))*****—reflections on Rev. Wright and his ONE MAN ASSUALT ON THE OMBAMA CAMPAIGN

Poor Obama.  If Obama did have a chance at the White House as the first black president….We all know who does not want that to happen…..Rev.  Wright!

   It would seem that Rev.  Wright more than Hillary Clinton,  or the Republican party or even Pat Buchanan for that matter  does not want Obama to become the first black American president of the United States! 

  But why Rev.  Wright?  What did Obama do to deserve this apparently dilberate assualt on the minds, and mentality of the American public…black or white? 

You, Rev.  Wright keep spouting irrational statements about the black church in America. 

 You have disrespected the very memory of Dr.  Martin Luther King. 

 It is shameful,  and humilitating to me as an American.  

 Rev. Wright…you  continously bring yourself into the spotlight for no reason at all. 

Even Al Sharpton is more controled than that. 

 Please,  members of Mr. Rev. Wrights congregation, talk to him.  Reason with the Rev. Wright….even if Obama decided to walk away from the fight with the Clinton Team in defeat…do you have to make Obama walk away in shame? 

Why should Obama have to walk away unable to hold up his head to battle forward for the rights and the new changes that he was attempting to bring to America as a country?  

 Even Obama’s mother who was an anthropologist would have disagreedwith the negative division that Rev.  Wright is throwing  into the Democratice race toward the White House.

  Where was Rev.  Wright years ago?  Why does he continue to trash the Obama campaign? 

*********** Is Rev. Wright being paid to talk, and talk, and talk and say things that are out of character for Obama?  So strange….so very strange and so very, very sad. 

 Whatever Obama’s message ….it is getting trampled by the talkative Rev.  Wright. 

—riveroflifelisajoy

Pat Buchanan–“Did he state that Black Americans should be Thankful for Slavery?—What Year is this Again? 2008?!!”

 

 QUOTED FROM E.POLITICS.COM… REGARDING REMARKS OF PAT BUCHANAN

“America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known. “

I DO NOT GENERALLY TAKE OTHER WRITS ON THE INTERNET—BUT THIS STRUCK ME SO HARD THAT I HAD TO GIVE MR.  COLIN DELANY ANOTHER  AREA IN WHICH TO VENT.  IT WOULD APPEAR THAT MR. PAT BUCHANAN SEEMS TO FEEL THAT PEOPLE OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE ARE TO BE THANKFUL FOR THE “BENEFITS” OF SLAVERY IN AMERICA.  

I RECENTLY VIEWED THE MOVIE  “AMAZING GRACE”, AN HISTORIC MOVIE ABOUT THE BATTLE HELD IN ENGLAND BY WILLIAM WILLBERFORCE,  A MERCHANT WHO BEING IN POLITICS AT THE TIME FOUGHT AGAINST SLAVERY, HAVING BEEN INFLUENCED BY HIS PASTOR, JOHN NEWTON, ( A REFORMED  SLAVE TRADER WHO WROTE THE FAMED “AMAZING GRACE” HYM THAT EVERYONE TAKES FOR GRANTED). 

 THE EVENT TOOK PLACE, ACCORDING TO THE MOVIE REVIEW WRITTEN BY REV. BRYAN GRIEM “OVER TWO CENTURIES” AGO–DURING THE TIME BETWEEN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION AT THE END  OF THE THE FRENCH REVOLUTION.” (1 MOVIE REVIEW- CHRISTIAN SPOLIGHT.COM)

THIS MOVIE WAS TOUCHING,  AND MADE ME REALIZE THAT NOT ALL EUROPEANS WERE FOR THE SLAVE TRADE.  YES, THERE WERE THE REFORMED SLAVE TRADERS….BUT THAT ENGLAND HAD RENOUNCED THE SLAVE TRADE BEFORE AMERICA …IS THOUGHT PROVOKING TO SAY THE LEAST.  I HAD NEVER THOUGHT OF ENGLAND HAS HAVING ANY COMPASSION, OR HUMAN  AWARENESS THAT THE SLAVE TRADE WAS WRONG…ON SO MANY LEVELS.  ——-BUT YET,  HERE TWO CENTURIES FROM THAT DATE…..HERE IS PAT BUCHANAN TELLING BARAK OBAMA AND HIS ***NEGATIVE ****BASED ALLEGED MINISTER MR.  WRIGHT,  THAT (ALTHOUGHT HIS STATEMENTS WERE INAPROPRIATE)  THAT MR. WRIGHT SHOULD BE THANKING G-D FOR SLAVERY?  

I WONDER IF WILLIAM WILBERFORCE HAD READ OR HEARD PAT BUCHANAN’S RATHER SHALLOW,  LIMITED VIEWS ON HUMAN ENSLAVEMENT—WOULD HE HAVE AGREED?  I THINK NOT!!!! 

IN THE MOVIE, AMAZING GRACE,  JOHN NEWTON,  STATED THAT THE SLAVES WERE NOT THE ANIMALS,  THE SLAVE TRADERS WERE THE BARBARIANS.  THEY ABUSED, MISUSED,  MURDERED,  RAPED, ETC., ETC., ETC., THE CAPTIVE AFRICANS  DURING THE “MIDDLE PASSAGE FROM AFRICA  TO ENGLAND, AMERICA AND OTHER PORTS OF CALL. 

HOW COULD PAT BUCHANAN MAKE SUCH A COLD, SICK STATEMENT THAT SLAVERY WAS GOOD?   IF IT WAS SO GOOD….WHY DID THE  X-SLAVE TRADER JOHN NEWTON WRITE THAT HYM “AMAZING GRACE”  EXPLAINING HOW HE HAD BEEN WRONG FOR HIS ACTIONS AND REALIZING THE LOVE OF GOD INSPITE OF HIS OWN EVIL ACTIONS TOWARD OTHER HUMANBEINGS.  EVEN IF SOMEONE LOOKS, SMELLS, LIVES, ACTS DIFFERENT THAN YOU AS A HUMANBEING

….DOES THAT GIVE YOU THE SUPREME RIGHT TO DEMORALIZE THAT HUMAN BEING?   I THINK NOT…..THUS THAT BEAUTIFUL HYMN “AMAZING GRACE”  AND THE MAN WILLIAM WILBURFORCE WAS BORN TO FIGHT THE INJUSTICE OF SLAVERY AND THEN  WIN  IN ENGLAND…SETTING THE STAGE FOR THE  CHANGE TO TAKE PLACE IN AMERICA.

IS PAT BUCHANAN STATING BASICALLY THAT BLACKS OR ANY OTHER PEOPLE OF BROWN, OR YELLOW SKIN WOULD NOT,  COULD NOT HAVE BEEN A PART OF TODAYS SOCIETY WERE IT NOT FOR THE SO CALLED BENEFITS OF SLAVERY?

   IS HE SO LIMITED ON WORLD HISTORY AND ANTHROPOLOGY AND THE STUDY OF HUMAN PSYCHO BEHAVIOR THAT HE WOULD DECIDE THAT TO HARM AN ENTIRE RACE OF PEOPLE BY ABUSE, AND ENSLAVEMENT IS BETTER SO THAT THEY COULD BE TRAINED,  EDUCATED, AND CIVILIZED?

MY  COLLEGE COURSES CONTAINED SOME AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND THE SLAVE TRADE.  THERE WERE NO BENEFITS TO SLAVE TRADE.  I AM THE FIRST GENERATION WITHIN MY MOTHER’S FAMILY TO ATTEND COLLEGE,  AND MY MOTHER ATTEMPTED TO FINISH COLLEGE, BUT FAMILY CONCERNS TOOK THE CENTER STAGE IN HER LIFE. 

 WHY DIDN’T MY MOTHER GO TO COLLEGE BACK IN THE THIRTIES?  MY MOTHER”S FATHER WAS UNEDUCATED, AND SO WAS HER MOTHER.  THEY COULD READ ENOUGH TO CLEAN, OR DO BASIC WORK IN DOMESTIC LOCALS.  SO WHERE IS MR. BUCHANAN GETTING HIS BASIS TO JUSTIFY HIS THOUGHTS ON THE BENEFITS OF SLAVERY?

   WHY ARE SO MANY BLACK AND LATINO PEOPLE NOT HAS SUCCESSFUL AS THEIR COUNTERPART AMERICAN’S?  THIS TOPIC WOULD TAKE ME SEVERAL IF NOT HUNDREDS OF BLOG SPACE TO ADDRESS.

ANY HOW,  PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT THE MOVIE CALLED, AMAZING GRACE , FEATURING:

  • IOAN GRUFFUDD
  • ALBERT FINNY
  • BENEDICT GUMBERBATCH
  • MICHAEL GAMBON
  • RAMOLA GARAI

DIRECTED BY MICHAEL APTED

DISTRUBED BY SAMUEL GOLDWYN

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING OPEN LETTER TO PAT BUCHANAN FROM

A WHITE MALE NAMED  “COLIN DELANY” AT e.politics.com

AND THEN CONSIDER “THE BENEFITS OF SLAVERY” ACCORDING TO MR. BUCHANAN—THANK YOU…riveroflifelisajoY

Barak Obama —I’ll have Mine Well Done Thankyou! With the Democratic Push for President growing more intense, backing for Barak OBama from the Kennedy Camp! Wow! That truly IS newsworthy!

LIFE STARTS HERE.jpg 

The last time I wrote about Barak Obama I told you that I do not know enough about him to really make a good clean decision on him.  But I am in shock right now.

 The Kennedy Family is standing behind him!???!?!  Wow!  That is admirable….but it also scares me a little! 

 Why?  I am not completely sure as to why the political backing of the Eternal Flame at Arlington that flickers over the grave of one of the Kennedy Presidents,  and the family that has reigned over politics in this country since I was born in 1961– kind of unnerves me but it does. 

 It is not a bad thing,  it is an awe inspiring thing. 

I feel a bit shakey inside when I think of the Kennedy’s placing their political UMP! behind Obama.  They usually do not speak out too much….but when they do…it is powerful, and needs to be considered on all fronts. 

 Also, until this political twist I was unaware that my favorite action flick star, turned governor of California Arnold Swartzenegger (sorry about the spelling)  was a republican, while his Kennedy ancestry wife Maria Shriver was still a staunch democrat.  What must be the conversation over dinner be like?

  Maria Shriver was also present at the backing and speech making campaign for Barak Obama.  The Kennedy Mantel has even been placed on Obama’s Shoulders.   They stated that he is like a Kennedy in his attitude and stance in politics.  

They like him and are standing behind to give him the political push.  If I was undecided before,  now I really do not know how to vote.

  Previously,  I had stated that I knew more about Hillary Clinton than I knew about Barak Obama….whether he is “BLACK OF SKIN” like me or not. 

I have been in my job for about 20 years,  I have not had people who were of my race like me, just because I am the same race as them!  Most people do not like me because of the role I maintain on my job.  So,  race has nothing to do with it for me. 

Politics aside,  Obama was a family background that is not anything like mine.  His father was a native of Africa, and his mother was European…My grandparents and their grandparents were slaves!

  So what am I to tell you are that I have in common in  ancestry with Obama?  Nothing…absolutely nothing. 

But when it comes to politics,  I want to know how he will change my child’s future for the better!  How will my health care improve?

  How will my single parent status improve. 

 How will being a care giver to my mother improve? 

 How about the high price of rent/ mortgage improve?  

 How can attending college become more affordable for myself and my child? 

When will my job receive the much needed economic raises needed to help meet the food bill,  electric bills, gas bills, health care, car insurances,  medication and perscription prices? 

  I heard on 1010 wins “ROAD TO THE WHITE HOUSE UPDATE”  that Obama made a speech in which he promised to” increase minimum wage not once every ten years, but EVERY YEAR!  

Obama even stated that if  “You work in this country you should not be poor!”

  That statement was very powerful, but also frightening! 

 How would increaseing minimum wage yearly affect cost of food in the fast food industry which barely pays its’ workers minimum wage earnings? 

How would rasing the  minimum wage yearly affect home attendant prices for those who need the home attendant? 

 How would raising minimum wage affect the industries that make their living from  the backs of LOW WAGE EARNERS WHO CANNOT AFFORD A DENTAL PLAN/MEDICAL PLAN with the low wages that they earn in MCDonalds,  Wendys,or  BurgerKing?

  What about the dry  cleaning industry? 

 What about the malls, and stores like Macys? 

 How will constantly increasing the minimum wage impact on such industries

 Will clothes, shoes,  and the basic neccesities begin to raise beyond normal levels, in order to accomplish the “everyone one starting off at the same fair rate?” 

 Is it possible that what ever  the wage increase is….the economy will have to make adjustments in order to find the money to PAY THE WAGE INCREASES TO THE WORKERS!  

 Look,  I want atleast a an unrealistic raise of atleast $30, 000.00 per year.  Will I get it?  Of course not.  But if you give me at least a 30% increase in raise I would see a difference in my  paycheck,  more than that small 3% raise I keep getting every two or three years. 

 That three percent raise adds up to about $5.00 more per year.  That gets eaten up by all the life insurance policies, and taxes I pay direct before I even receive my paycheck net. 

 So if Mr. Obama can raise the rate of income for all American’s  who will ultimately pay the cost and price of this increase? 

Do you think the price will cover it?  I highly doubt it.  The rich are the ones paying us poor folk these small wages for fast food, high paced jobs, and they want a surplus….they do not just want to make a small profit either. 

Who would buy a McDonalds’s regular cheese burger for let’s say $3.00 in order to assist in rasing the rate of the minimum wage for the McDonald’s employee behind the cash register? 

I wonder

 What do you think? All I know is that –that hamburger better be good……I LIKE MINE WELL DONE THANKYOU!

***Reflections on the Hot Race for President in the Democratic Party  by

RIVEROFLIFELISAJOY!

Barefoot Workers surrounded by Hot Furnaces, and Molten Metal just so New York City can Have “Man Hole Covers!” Are you Serious! Where is Al Sharpton??? Here is a Real Human Rights Issue to be Addressed!

 I am truly thankful for the blessings that I have in my liife

That is why I am sharing this article from the New York Times with you today.  Please read this and be aware of the on going struggle for human rights in the job place.  With people still need ing jobs in this country, our manhole  covers have been out sourced and sent to what adds up to be SWEAT SHOPS in India. 

I do not understand.  How can you pay some body to work and yet keep them barefoot and without proper safety gear for dangerous, dangerous work  with hot metal???!!!!  Please read this article by Heather Timmons, and published on November 26,  2007.  I advocate human rights.  Look!  I am a member of a union on my job!  So I have to speak out on what is wrong when I see it.

New York Manhole Covers, Forged Barefoot in India

J. Adam Huggins for The New York Times

Workers in Haora, India, have few protections while making manhole covers for Con Edison and some cities’ utilities.

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Published: November 26, 2007
NEW DELHI — Eight thousand miles from Manhattan, barefoot,NEW DELHI — Eight thousand miles from Manhattan, barefoot, shirtless, whip-thin men rippled with muscle were forging prosaic pieces of the urban jigsaw puzzle: manhole covers.

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J. Adam Huggins for The New York Times

A foundry worker cooling off. Con Edison said it is revising contracts with safety in mind.

J. Adam Huggins for The New York Times

As metal pours into ladles, sparks fly, sometimes igniting workers’ clothing, at Shakti Industries in Haora. Plant officials say accidents do not occur.

The New York Times

The Shakti Industries foundry is in West Bengal State.

Seemingly impervious to the heat from the metal, the workers at one of West Bengal’s many foundries relied on strength and bare hands rather than machinery. Safety precautions were barely in evidence; just a few pairs of eye goggles were seen in use on a recent visit. The foundry, Shakti Industries in Haora, produces manhole covers for Con Edison and New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection, as well as for departments in New Orleans and Syracuse.

The scene was as spectacular as it was anachronistic: flames, sweat and liquid iron mixing in the smoke like something from the Middle Ages. That’s what attracted the interest of a photographer who often works for The New York Times — images that practically radiate heat and illustrate where New York’s manhole covers are born.

When officials at Con Edison — which buys a quarter of its manhole covers, roughly 2,750 a year, from India — were shown the pictures by the photographer, they said they were surprised.

“We were disturbed by the photos,” said Michael S. Clendenin, director of media relations with Con Edison. “We take worker safety very seriously,” he said.

Now, the utility said, it is rewriting international contracts to include safety requirements. Contracts will now require overseas manufacturers to “take appropriate actions to provide a safe and healthy workplace,” and to follow local and federal guidelines in India, Mr. Clendenin said.

At Shakti, street

At Shakti, street grates, manhole covers and other castings were scattered across the dusty yard. Inside, men wearing sandals and shorts carried coke and iron ore piled high in baskets on their heads up stairs to the furnace feeding room.

On the ground floor, other men, often shoeless and stripped to the waist, waited with giant ladles, ready to catch the molten metal that came pouring out of the furnace. A few women were working, but most of the heavy lifting appeared to be left to the men.

The temperature outside the factory yard was more than 100 degrees on a September visit. Several feet from where the metal was being poured, the area felt like an oven, and the workers were slick with sweat.

Often, sparks flew from pots of the molten metal. In one instance they ignited a worker’s lungi, a skirtlike cloth wrap that is common men’s wear in India. He quickly, reflexively, doused the flames by rubbing the burning part of the cloth against the rest of it with his hand, then continued to cart the metal to a nearby mold.

Once the metal solidified and cooled, workers removed the manhole cover casting from the mold and then, in the last step in the production process, ground and polished the rough edges. Finally, the men stacked the covers and bolted them together for shipping.

“We can’t maintain the luxury of Europe and the United States, with all the boots and all that,” said Sunil Modi, director of Shakti Industries. He said, however, that the foundry never had accidents. He was concerned about the attention, afraid that contracts would be pulled and jobs lost.

New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection gets most of its sewer manhole covers from India. When asked in an e-mail message about the department’s source of covers, Mark Daly, director of communications for the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, said that state law requires the city to buy the lowest-priced products available that fit its specifications.

Mr. Daly said the law forbids the city from excluding companies based on where a product is manufactured.

Municipalities and utility companies often buy their manhole covers through middlemen who contract with foreign foundries; New York City buys the sewer covers through a company in Flushing, Queens.

Con Edison said it did not plan to cancel any of its contracts with Shakti after seeing the photographs, though it has been phasing out Indian-made manhole covers for several years because of changes in design specifications.

Manhole covers manufactured in India can be anywhere from 20 to 60 percent cheaper than those made in the United States, said Alfred Spada, the editor and publisher of Modern Casting magazine and the spokesman for the American Foundry Society. Workers at foundries in India are paid the equivalent of a few dollars a day, while foundry workers in the United States earn about $25 an hour.

The men making New York City’s manhole covers seemed proud of their work and pleased to be photographed doing it. The production manager at the Shakti Industries factory, A. Ahmed, was enthusiastic about the photographer’s visit, and gave a full tour of the facilities, stopping to measure the temperature of the molten metal — some 1,400 degrees Centigrade, or more than 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit.

India’s 1948 Factory Safety Act addresses cleanliness, ventilation, waste treatment, overtime pay and fresh drinking water, but the only protective gear it specifies is safety goggles.

Mr. Modi said that his factory followed basic safety regulations and that workers should not be barefoot. “It must have been a very hot day” when the photos were taken, he said.

Some labor activists in India say that injuries are far higher than figures show. “Many accidents are not being reported,” said H. Mahadevan, the deputy general secretary for the All-India Trade Union Congress.

Safety, overall, is “not taken as a serious concern by employers or trade unions,” Mr. Mahadevan added.

A. K. Anand, the director of the Institute of Indian Foundrymen in New Delhi, a trade association, said in a phone interview that foundry workers were “not supposed to be working barefoot,” but he could not answer questions about what safety equipment they should be wearing.

At the Shakti Industries foundry, “there are no accidents, never ever. Period,” Mr. Modi said. “By God’s will, it’s all fine.”

Heather Timmons reported from New Delhi and J. Adam Huggins from Haora, India.